Al fresco dining, Catering Outdoors, summer
How to attract more people into your beer garden5:12 pm
We spend most of the year almost in hibernation due to Britain’s miserable weather, and as soon as the sun is out we all have one thought: BEER GARDEN!
Easter has brought the good times back and here we will look at what you can do to make your beer garden stand out from the rest and make your outdoor space profitable.
Why is a beer garden important?A sunny day, coupled with an attractive beer garden, will draw a crowd that wouldn’t ordinarily head out for a drink at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. Not only will your place be frequented by a different type of customer, but you’ll also have the space in order to serve more people than you would otherwise.
Many beer gardens often become a melting pot of community on a warm summer’s day, with families, groups of lads, couples and older people all heading out to enjoy themselves.
Everyone’s in good spirits and people tend to enjoy drinking more casually than the Saturday night jagerbomb crowd – making for a unique and friendly atmosphere that people enjoy and are willing to pay for, even if prices are a little higher than your competitors.
A warm, sunny day and a busy beer garden gives people a great impression of your pub or restaurant. They will associate your place with good summer vibes and be more inclined to come back – even when the weather isn’t quite so hospitable.
An outdoor space expands the amount of customers you can serve at one time, meaning greater profits, greater atmosphere and exposure to new customers who might not have been before.
Here are some ways you can appeal to a variety of different customers.
Open spacingCustomers want to enjoy a pint surrounded by blue sky and feeling the blaze of the rare British sun. They don’t want to feel hemmed in. Though not every place will be blessed with a large garden, there are ways to make the most of your space.
Cutting back on trees, bushes and any overhanging plants will allow more sun into your garden and help people to feel like they’re making the most of the good weather.
Your building can also act as a light blocker so try to keep most seats away from the shade, if you have the space.
Of course not everyone wants a tan so do think about those who’d prefer to sit in the shade, and include parasols on each bench to give people the option of keeping cool.
Choosing The Best Outdoor Furniture For Your Venue
Improve your furniturePutting out cheap and plastic garden chairs, or last year’s now-rusty furniture, is a sure fire way to make people leave after their first drink. Plan ahead, and think about investing in comfortable furniture that will make people stay all day.
A lot of pubs use the classic picnic bench. They’re relatively comfortable, can fit 4-8 people and are great for serving food on. A major advantage is you don’t need to clear them away at the end of the day, and they’re resistant to being outside all year round.
They come in different and quirky designs to suit your preferred style and size requirements, and the standard tables can even be placed together to create one long banquet-style table to cater for large groups.
Keeping dry and warmAs excited as we get by a hint of sun, the erratic nature of British weather means blue sky can change to cloudy drizzle by the time you’re back from the bar. Even on those beautiful long, sunny days it can become chilly in the evening.
As a business it’s in your best interest to keep the outdoor crowd happy, as once everyone piles indoors you’ll inevitably lose customers as it becomes too busy for people to comfortably enjoy.
Outdoor heaters are a great way to keep people outside. They are stylish and ensure heat is directed where it needs to be to save on energy.
Efficient and cost effective, they are well worth the investment when it keeps customers outside enjoying themselves long after the sun has gone down!
A gazebo is also a great idea to stave off the rain when the weather turns. As long as people are dry and warm, you will always find people happy to make use of outdoor areas even if the weather isn’t great.
This also keeps smokers happy, an important crowd to consider as they can often influence where a group of friends go – even if most of the party don’t smoke themselves.
In 2015 American scientists from the University of Missouri tested the effects of alcohol and nicotine on rats and concluded that people crave nicotine to help stave off the sleepiness that comes with drinking, which helps to explain the social smoker phenomenon.
It’s not just the hardcore smokers you must think about but the casual ones too – make them happy and you’ll keep their business.
You can also consider a corner fire pit, which is visually appealing and sure to make your beer garden stand out.
|Turn Your Outdoor Area Into A Goldmine|
Children’s play areaOne thing that keeps parents out of pubs is the lack of entertainment for their children. If you have a play area you are an attractive proposition for a large market – parents who fancy a drink but need to keep the kids occupied.
Parents will love enjoying a drink in the sun while watching the children playing together. It brings a nice, cheery atmosphere and parents can unwind knowing the kids are safe and having fun.
A family atmosphere will also encourage a less boisterous crowd, which is likely to keep the noise levels lower and your neighbours happy!
Commercial barbecue, especially after a few drinks.
Cooking food outside will ignite people’s interest, awaken their taste buds and get their bellies rumbling – generating more sales and ensuring people have enough in the tank to continue drinking.
Outdoor televisionBritain is unquestionably a nation of sport lovers. Whether it’s the World Cup, Wimbledon, Champions League or a World Heavyweight Title fight – if you show the event, people will flock to your establishment.
Summer is always a haven for big sporting events. It’s not just hardcore sport lovers who are interested either, finals of big events, or big fights, are what gets everyone talking.
Indeed, a massive 11.62million people in the UK watched the final of Euro 2016 – and that was without any home nation making it that far (although Wales did get close).
One thing you must consider is the glare from the sun reflecting off the TV. The sun changes positions throughout the day and it’s inevitable that at some point it’ll ruin the view for your customers, potentially making them look elsewhere.
One way to counter this is purchasing an anti-glare TV screen protector. They cost between £60-£120, blend in naturally with your television and are easily removable. Whatever you decide – making sure your screen is easily visible at all times is highly recommended to keep your customers happy.
Having an outdoor television (or two) will make your business an attractive proposition as customers want to enjoy the weather and the sport at the same time.
Dog-friendlyWhen the sun’s out, dog-lovers are sure to be out enjoying it. Allowing dogs on your premises can increase footfall as thirsty walkers get tempted to pop in for a drink.
There are even websites that have gained large followings by listing dog-friendly pubs and rating/reviewing them.
One such website’s Twitter account has over 4,000 followers and they can be contacted with a view to recommending you – which itself can be a badge of honour because not all canine-loving venues meet their high standards.
Get recognised for maximum exposure as well as a seal of approval in terms of quality.
No-one wants to leave the dog home on a lovely day, so catering to those who want to include their pooch on their outing will increase your potential customer base.
Summer cocktailsCocktails are a great way to maximise profits and cater to thirsty customers on a summer’s day. They’re cool, go down easily and can be perfect for those who are full from food or after too much beer.
Mojito, Long-Island Iced Tea and Sangria are just a few of the summery drinks that are sure to sell. Consider advertising these on your specials board along with the beer garden you have to offer.
Cocktails have an exotic connotation and hit the spot on a warm day – which will help entice passers-by into checking out what you have to offer.
Social mediaSharing images of your garden and happy punters enjoying the sun guarantees you will be even busier next time. Promote yourself on your social media channels and create buzz about your place – make people feel like they’re missing out and that they HAVE to stop by.
Engaging on social media with customers and taking the time to see what they have to say can be of great benefit to your business. People reveal a great deal about themselves, their tastes and preferences online; listen and make necessary adjustments to give people what they want.
Businesses which engage with customer service requests via social media earn 20-40 per cent more revenue per customer, so taking the time to interact can be a big boost to profits.
‘Likes’ are an easy way to gauge customer interest and is something you can monitor over time – giving you an easy indication of what is working and what isn’t.
You’ll also be able to use it to gain insight into what your competitors are doing and whether there’s anything you need to do to make sure you stay one step ahead.
And the best part about it? Social media is completely FREE advertising.
ConclusionThere’s so much you can do to generate interest in your beer garden and it is well worth the time, effort and investment into getting it right.
Everyone loves to sit inside a warm cosy pub on a winter’s night, but the appeal of an all-year-round beer garden is growing.
And once the sun comes out you’ll definitely want to entice the summer crowd.